Here we are on another eve of another leg of our journey!! We have been in our cozy little townhouse for a week enjoying family, friends and high altitude living! Arrived in spring weather, reverted back to a bit of winter snow, climbed back up to spring temps, enjoyed brilliant Colorado blue sky days and then today, on the eve of heading west we watched beautiful soft fluffy snow float down all day! As we pack all the possessions we will be living with for the next 5 months into 4 little pannier bags, ready to start an epic bicycle journey, it would have been nice to be encouraged by perfect weather and bluebird color Colorado skies! But we got snow!! It was beautiful and it was cozy! Used the last day to get all those final details checked off.
A large part of today was spent scrutinizing the maps we have for the trip. We have been watching the weather on the West coast closely and as the rest of the country has all the crazy wet and cold weather going on, the west is actually warmer than normal!! We looked closely at mileage and camping options as we slowly work our way into the routine of riding, setting up camp, sleeping in sleeping bags on the ground, getting up in the morning and starting it all again!! We worked out tentative trip plans with back-up options in case we cant' go that far or in a more positive approach, in casewe arrive at a planned destination and feel we can go further! We should reach Astoria, Oregon, which is the official start to the TransAmerica route, on or about May 5. It looks like a cool place so may stay for a few days, have a good look around. Its a rule of the trip (a self imposed rule of course!) that we start the Epic TransAmerica ride with toes in the Pacific Ocean and that is how we will start! Hope its easier that what we had to struggle thru in Anacortes Washington 2016! The fully loaded bicycles had to be dragged thru deep beach pebble-y rubble to get our toes in the water!! We had to wait for someone to wander within ear shot so we could shout out a request for a little help with a photo!! Then we had to drag the bikes back across the deep beach pebble-y rubble! But I will do anything for the photo I know I want!!
This is our second trip and I think I may be more anxious and nervous this time. Those are the feelings keeping me awake at night! Sometimes it feels as if we are too confident this time because we have done it before and on the other hand it feels like we have over prepared more than the first trip! I am fairly certain my bags weigh more than the first trip. I just can't take my self to the super light weight mentality of some serious bikers and save weight by cutting off the end of my toothbrush, or cutting my sponge in half, leaving half of my clothes behind. I am willing to carry the weight for a bit of comfort. That's what the Post Office is for . . . Chances are by the downhill side of the first few mountain passes I will be singing a different tune and ready to downsize! We will figure it out, we always do. Either way . . . . it's show time, ready or not here we go! When we leave tomorrow we will only have what we can pack onto our bicycles!!
To refresh the plans ahead we pick up a one-way rental car at the airport in the morning, come back to pack bicycles and bags into the car and head out! Our first stop will be wherever we get tired on the first day's drive, presumably somewhere in Colorado. We expect to be in Idaho late Thursday to spend a few days with some very special friends from the RV Park! We reach Portland Oregon in time to return the rental vehicle on May 2nd, maybe take a day and then ride out!
Thank you so much to all of you for showing sincere interest and support in our second trip! I hope I can bring you all the excitement and adventure that we will experience! Riding a bicycle long distance is the most amazing thing I have ever done, I am pretty sure Mike will agree with that but you can ask him when you see him!! This adventure is a little intimidating and exciting all at the same time! The real departure date is quickly approaching! Thanks for hanging in there! See you in Oregon!!